PHIL 1550 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Speciesism, Eating Animals

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Philo
Jan 22
What makes a being morally considerable?
Differents between welfare and rights
-rights are absolute moral boundaries. So negative=cannot be killed. Positive right=abortion. Free
speech etc..
-welfare: simply treating animals better for non-rights reasons.
-animals do have basic emotions, avoidance behaviour
-they also have interests and preferences
-we see animals as being part of nature and nature is ours to exploit.
Singer
-started animals rights movements, however he does not believe in absolute rights for animals/humans.
-utilitarian.
-not only pleasure counts
-satisfaction of interests and preferences is also important
-ex: animals are interested in not being killed.
-satisfaction of any preference is at the utmost importance
-eating meat is not necessary for life or health of human.
-culinary satisfaction therefore outweighs animal right to life. Should be opposite
-many prejudices prevent people from taking seriously non meat eating
-animals should be liberated as an oppressed group. Like women, racialized minorities
-give any creatures, including insects, benefit of the doubt for pain
-you could also make a utilitarian argument without assuming that animals have rights. Ex: could use the
grain and other food given to animals for humans. Factory farms are very pollutive. Feeding corn to
cows creates diseases because of anti biotics given to them after since they can’t digest it.
-species membership is not valid enough to discriminate
Morally relevant criteria
-treating someone as a member of a group which is not morally relevant is not an intelligent decision
-suffering is a morally relevant criteria. So it means you belong in utilitarian framework.
Speciesism
-showing preference to our own specie because we are a part of that specie.
-animals are not full-fledged members of a moral community but can still be a part of it.
-if you believe in speciecism could be critiqued by saying that racism and sexism should also be ok then.
Factory farm
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